Most of us in the electronics business would recognize the above as a “project board”. You can buy these at the few still existing Radio Shacks or online and add electronic components to them to make a radio, a clock, or most anything you want confined to the capability of he device type…Including a Bomb timer.
What makes this a school project instead of a bomb, is the absence of something which goes “boom” like C4 or Semtex, which is pretty hard to come by by domestic or international terrorists inside the US…and virtually impossible to obtain as a High School kid. Which is a big part of the reason Timothy McVeigh used a fertilizer-oil (AMFO) bomb to blow up the Murrah Center, and the 9/11 terrorists…Used airplanes. The second reason this is a school project, is some of the little pieces on that green board are traceable to whomever purchased them.
Why someone should confuse the two things – a bomb and a kids electronic project, is an issue involving stereotypes and racism. Obviously this High School doesn’t offer any advanced college prep classes in Chemistry.
A Dallas-area teen with a knack for tinkering built a homemade clock for his engineering teachers. Ahmed Mohamed never expected the reaction he’d receive for his invention. The 14-year-old Irving ISD student was arrested.
Despite repeated explanations that the device is a clock and no proof of explosives, police could charge Mohamed “with making a hoax bomb,” the Dallas Morning News reported.
The event has caught the attention of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and ignited outrage on social media. A hashtag #IStandWithAhmed has began trending early Wednesday morning.
“I think this wouldn’t even be a question if his name wasn’t Ahmed Mohamed,” said Alia Salem, executive director of CAIR’s North Texas chapter, according to ABC affiliate WFAA. “He is an excited kid who is very bright and wants to share it with his teachers.”
A photo circulating on Twitter — of a slight student in a NASA T-shirt in handcuffs — appears to show the end of the incident that occurred Monday. The Dallas Morning News described Mohamed as a skilled engineer who can build “his own radios and repair his own go-kart.”
The freshman at MacArthur High School received a three day suspension. Police are investigating the case even though they acknowledge that the student had not made any references to a bomb. From the Morning News:
“We have no information that he claimed it was a bomb,” [Police spokesman James] McLellan said. “He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation.”
Well, Ahmed, I have some sympathy for you borne out of personal experience. I built some rather powerful rockets back in my day, scrounging parts from junkyards and Edmund Scientific on my small allowance budget. Capable of launching well over 10,000 ft. Got arrested for trying to shoot down an airplane by a local rooter-tooter cop, because I launched my rocket 20 miles from an airport. Local reporter came to my defense and threatened a critical article…
Hope the Internet world hearing about your case has a positive result!